On average, a night at one of our preferred luxury holiday destinations in Kenya goes for about Ksh 40,000 per resident couple per night. Sounds like a lot, no? But, we all like nice things, and nice things rarely come cheap. So, how does anyone afford a luxury holiday in Kenya’s premium destinations? Read on for some tried and tested tips.
Timing Is Everything
We all love to travel during Easter, Christmas, New Year and over the school holidays. Granted, that’s when we take time off, that’s when the kids are home, and that’s just how we have been socialized. But, during those times, most holiday destinations are overcrowded. You can barely float about in a pool for more than two seconds without bumping into the next person. You have to endure long waits for the chicken tikka to be refilled at the buffet station (for the umpteenth time). And if you’re travelling with kids, you dare not take your eyes off of them lest they drift off with another family. That is not anyone’s idea of a luxury holiday, yet the price you pay for that experience is exorbitant.
At one of our favorite destinations in Diani, the rate is about Ksh 35,000 for a double room during the low season. During Christmas, the same room goes for over Ksh 60,000 per night. Demand and supply. When we all clamor for the same beds at the same time, hotels hike their prices.
Low season rates are affordable and discounts are plenty
At the Coast, rates generally drop significantly from the second week of January to the end of March. In the National Parks, you will get unbelievably low rates between April and June, or between October and December 19th. And when you choose to stay at a Mint destination, even at the height of the rainy season, there are still lots of activities, fireplaces to keep you warm as you enjoy the cozy indoors alone or with a loved one. We daresay, this is the perfect time for solo R&R trips and lovers’ escapes.
Weekdays are also your friend
Some destinations will give up to 25% discount for guests staying between Monday to Thursday, without excluding anything that is on offer during the weekend. So you will enjoy the same world-class service, have access to the same amenities, go on the same game drives, have the same classic sun-downers and other extras, for a fraction of the price you would otherwise pay over the weekend.
Planning Your Holiday
Say you have been dreaming about a holiday in the exclusive Presidential Villa at the Almanara. You have seen the pictures, read raving reviews on TripAdvisor. And you have also heard about the Jamie Oliver trained chef, who prepares fresh sea food at the acclaimed Sails Beach Bar & Restaurant. You asked for the rates, all you could say was “wah!” and that dream went out the window. But you can’t stop thinking about it, and you can’t stop looking at the pictures. What to do? How can you afford such a luxury holiday in Kenya?
Start planning early and plan to travel during the low season. Say It’s January, and you’d like to travel in November-the most affordable time. If you put aside about Ksh 7,500 per month, you will have return flights and three nights’ all-inclusive accommodation. And, this is with the good kind of alcohol, because Mint Destinations do not compromise on quality. You also get to enjoy a secluded beach, attentive service, and the peace and quite every good holiday should have. Plus, that’s one luxury destination checked off your bucket-list. While paying for a holiday doesn’t need to feel obligatory- like rent- if you’re really serious about a luxury holiday in Kenya’s premium destinations, maybe you forego a couple of new weaves, or pass on a series of weekends in Naivasha with the boys. Like all great outcomes, it takes commitment, but it’s easily within your reach and we can help you plan!
Book Through A Local Agent
Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and many of the other online booking agents are excellent resources. They will give you options, price comparisons, cheapest flights and a seemingly quick and seamless booking process. But, one very important thing they will not give you is a local resident’s rate. As a resident, you have access to discounted rates that allow you to afford luxury holidays in Kenya and across the region. And while there is a lot of debate about the ethics behind lower rates for residents, you are on the winning side of that debate. Resident rates were put in place to encourage more local tourism, and in most cases, they are a fraction of the non-resident rate (which is what you will find on most hotel websites). A local travel agent, will offer you the discounted rates, and they are more likely to be aware of other discount that you can take advantage in order to afford a luxury holiday. Get Discounted Prices from Mint Safari!
There’s Nothing Wrong With Half-board
So, this may not work if you’re travelling to a remote destination where the closest restaurant is a long way off. For example, if you’re staying at the Sands at Chale, you definitely want to be on full-board. But, if your destination of choice is within close proximity to other restaurants, take the half-board option. You will still get to experience the same comforts, indulgences, amenities and services, but you also enrich your holiday experience by trying different restaurants, and varied menus. Some places will not be explicit about a half-board option, so just ask.
Just Do It!
Pick a location, choose the dates, get some friends on board (accountability partners, motivation buddies, whatever you call your crowd) and commit to a plan. We can help with all that, but first, you have to dare to dream about going on that luxury holiday in Kenya. That’s where it all starts. Book my dream holiday!
At Mint Safari, we are passionate about showcasing Kenya’s premium destinations and encouraging more local travel to these places. You’ve already been to a lot of the usual places. You have had the same experience too many times. You have shared a tour van with complete strangers, and it worked- at the time. Now, you’re ready for the next level of travel and Kenya has an abundance of out-of-the ordinary places and experiences for you to explore. You only need to work with the right travel partners, pick the right time then plan in advance. And that is how to afford a luxury holiday in Kenya!